MyHeritage – Discovering, Preserving and Sharing Family History
MyHeritage is our final stop on the popular genealogy website train. It has its pros and cons just like any other genealogy site. We started the series with Ancestry, where we discovered there is a lot of information available. However, at the same time, you have to fork over quite a bit of money to take advantage of all their platform has to offer. Last week, we took a look at FamilySearch, a free genealogy website. They build their database with the help of volunteers and partnerships with paid sites. Where exactly does MyHeritage stack up amongst the top three?
MyHeritage – Popular Genealogy Websites Part 3
MyHeritage promotes their site as a place to transform family history into an activity. They want you to enjoy their online family tree collection. They encourage users to share their past and present family stories. Whereas, Ancestry advertises that they are a catalyst between you and your history. They provide you with many paid services to help you connect the dots. On the other hand, FamilySearch is driven by a religious belief of linking the present to the past to build a bridge to the future. They want their database shared worldwide at no cost to you.
My Heritage is a global company with a presence in every country in the world, and websites in 42 different languages. In total, more than 80 million members are sharing 28 million family trees. Let’s take a closer look at the memberships, some of their products, technologies, and genealogy tools.
MyHeritage realizes that DNA tests are helpful in identifying genetic connections. They are partnered with Family Tree DNA and 23andMe to provide DNA testing for its members. In May of this year, they released a blog post making their members aware of a new upcoming DNA matching service. Any existing members who have DNA test results from Family Tree DNA, 23amdMe, or AncestryDNA can import their data to MyHeritage.
However, they have hinted that once the DNA Matching service is live, it might become a premium (paid) service. Their blog post does not indicate a launch date. If you are a member, you may want to try and upload your DNA test results now to avoid paying for it down the road. You can also upload DNA data for your close relatives.
There are four levels of membership with MyHeritage. First, the free service allows you to build a family tree and add a limited number of people. You can upload photos, videos, events, and messages. Also, Family Tree Builder is a free downloadable software program for Mac and Windows users. You can edit your tree offline and sync it online.
Secondly, there are two levels of premium memberships. The Premium membership lets you increase the number of people you add to your tree. The Premium Plus membership gives you an unlimited family tree and instant matches. Buyer beware, at the checkout, MyHeritage is going to try and sell you an upgrade. They recommend an add-on to access their historical database. Unfortunately, this add-on is going to cost you more than if you purchase the Complete membership.
Finally, The Complete membership includes an unlimited family tree, instant matches, and access to their historical database. Online reviews reveal a significant number of complaints in regards to MyHeritage billing practices and customer service. I recommend that you do a little research before you upgrade from a free account.
Key Products and Technologies
- Global Name Translation Technology launched last year. It allows its members to conduct an international search for family members. In turn, the names are translated into the source language.
- Instant Discoveries matches your family tree entries to the MyHeritage database to help you discover ancestors and relatives.
- Smart Matching Technology compares each family tree in the database to identify spelling, language and fact discrepancies.
- Face Recognition Technology allows automatic photo tagging. Once you tag a relative in one photo, the system recognizes their face and tags them in all of your pictures.
At this time, MyHeritage has three helpful apps. Mobile apps for iPhone, iPad, and Android so you can maintain your family tree on the go. Also, Family Tree Builder is available for Windows and Mac and syncs with your mobile device. It is a family tree software that allows you to create custom charts and uses MyHeritage technologies. You can control your privacy online and offline.
Also, MyHeritage has teamed up with BillionGraves. The initiative is to document every headstone in the world with the free BillionGraves app. You can register for this free mobile app and begin contributing to the documentation and preservation of headstone information. MyHeritage Record Matching will match it for free on its members family trees.
To sum up, these are just a few of the many choices that are available. They are the most popular genealogy websites, and they are a good place to start your family search. They each have their pros and cons. What other sites do you find helpful in Digging up YOUR Roots in the Boot?
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